Bulgarian Madoff resides in luxurious house in Belgrade

Serbian journalists: The list of his machinations is long and yet he is still free. Why?

Tsvetan Vassilev

Tsvetan Vassilev has swapped the five-star hotel in downtown Belgrade he was staying in for a just as luxurious house in the fanciest district of the Serbian capital – Senjak. This was revealed by the latest article in the investigation conducted by the Serbian newspaper Blic into the fugitive banker who has been living undisturbed in Belgrade for the past four years despite having defrauded thousands of CorpBank depositors and embezzled billions from the lender.

Senjak is located in the heart of Savski Venac in the ideal centre of Belgrade and is notable for boasting the embassies and diplomatic residences of foreign countries’ official representatives. Apparently Vassilev moved there after his previous lodgings became public knowledge – the five-star hotel Zepter which charges €3,000 a night. It is still unclear how much Vassilev paid for his new home and whether he owns or rents it.

In its latest article on the topic Blic runs down the list of all the revelations about the Bulgarian Madoff’s machinations on Serbian territory, highlighting the engineering of the Paracin glass factory’s failure. The newspaper underlines: “The list of Vassilev’s financial machinations in the factory is a long one. They should be reminded until he is held accountable for his actions.” The media outlet reminds that the factory’s collapse started the moment that the Bulgarian, who is a friend of the former Serbian president Tomislav Nikolic, got involved with it. It points out that he laundered money through fictitious investments and that under his oversight 18 of the factory’s 20 furnaces were dissembled for scrap. Because of the engineered failure of the factory Vassilev is being investigated in Belgrade and is expected to be eventually charged. “His goal was to destroy the factory and launder money he stole from CorpBank and then get more money from the sale of the factory’s property. Another goal in this plan was to make room on the market for a Croatian glass factory that is the only real competition for the Paracin business,” notes Blic and concludes: “It is interesting how despite all his machinations he is still walking around free in Belgrade, feeling protected and living in a Senjak house. The question is whether such an individual deserves the protection of our country and a Serbian passport?”


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